Residency Classification for Tuition Purposes 

A student is classified as a resident or non-resident for tuition purposes based on information supplied at the time of admission or readmission. All residency requirements must be met before the first day of the term. The New Mexico Higher Education department establishes residence requirements for tuition purposes. These requirements apply to U.S. citizens, those with Permanent Resident immigration status, or those who have applied for Permanent Resident status. Residency requirements and information are available in the Admissions & Records Office and from the New Mexico Higher Education department’s Web page at

Minimally, four basic requirements must be met:
(additional requirements may apply)

  1. Only individuals who are financially independent may establish residency regardless of age. A student cannot be approved for residency who is financially dependent upon the parents or legal guardian who are non-residents of NM. Dependency will be based on the previous tax year for residency purposes. If you are under the age of 23 at the time of application for residency, a copy of your parents’ or guardians’ 1040 or 1040A U.S. income tax form for the previous tax year may be required. If you are shown to be a dependent on this tax form, you will not be considered financially independent.
  2. Sign a written declaration of intent to relinquish residency in any other state and establish residency in NM.
  3. Physically reside in the state for 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the term for which classification is requested. NOTE: A student must be at least 19 years old to complete the 12-month requirement.
  4. Have evidence of any two of the following:
    • If you are financially dependent, a copy of the parents’ or guardians’ previous year income tax information showing you as a dependent and the parents’ address as New Mexico (See Financial Independence Requirement Section);
    • A New Mexico high school transcript issued in the past year confirming attendance at a NM public or private high school within the past 12 months;
    • A transcript from an online high school showing a New Mexico address confirming attendance within the last 12 months;
    • A New Mexico driver’s license or ID card with an original date of issue or a renewal date issued prior to the first day of the term or semester
    • Proof of payment of New Mexico state income tax for the previous year;
    • Evidence of employment within the state of New Mexico;
    • New Mexico vehicle registration; Voter registration in New Mexico;
    • Proof of residential property ownership in New Mexico;
    • A rental agreement within New Mexico;
    • Utility bills showing the applicant name and a New Mexico address;
    • Other evidence that would reasonably support the individual’s intent to establish and maintain New Mexico residency.

Waiver of Non-Resident Tuition

The following individuals may receive a waiver of non-resident tuition and are not required to complete the 12-month duration requirement. Sufficient documentation will be required for each:

  • An individual married to a legal resident of New Mexico.
  • Spouse and dependent children of a person who has moved to New Mexico and has obtained permanent full- time employment.
  • Non-resident members of the U.S. armed forces, and their spouse and dependents stationed on active duty in New Mexico.
  • Active service members of the U.S. armed forces who were legal residents of New Mexico prior to entering service may retain their New Mexico residency.
  • Active participating members of the New Mexico National Guard and their spouse and dependents.
  • Individuals, their spouses and dependents who move to New Mexico for retirement purposes.
  • Members of an Indian nation, tribe or pueblo located wholly or partially in New Mexico, regardless of residence.
  • Part-time students enrolled for six hours or less during a regular semester.
  • During summer sessions, non-resident tuition may be waived according to the institution’s tuition policy.
  • Any student receiving a state-funded athletic scholarship from a New Mexico public post-secondary institution

Petitions for New Mexico Residency for Tuition Purposes

A non-resident student who believes he / she has satisfied the residency requirements may obtain a “Petition for Resident Tuition Classification” and the checklist of required supporting documentation online at or from the Registrar’s Office. All residency requirements must be met before the first day of the term in which the student petitions. A petition received after that date will not be considered.

The completed petition and required supporting documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. A student may be requested to supply additional information or to explain apparent inconsistencies before a final decision is reached. The student is notified of the decision and, if denied, may amend his / her petition with additional information and / or appeal to the Vice President for Student Services, who is the student’s last recourse. If the student satisfies the residency requirements for a future term, he / she may re-petition for residency for that term.

Tuition is charged according to a student’s residency status (tuition classification) and the number of hours enrolled. Refer to the Tuition & Fees section of this Catalog.